One subject seems to be dominant where Charlton are concerned at the moment. Shelvey’s impending move to Liverpool looks likely to be going ahead given the numerous sources that are reporting on it. Leeds United at home has been put on the back-burner, for now at least.
My initial thought when the news first broke was that this comes as no surprise to me. We all know the perilous state of the Addicks coffers, and regardless of whether promotion is achieved, I’m under no other illusion that we were likely to need to move a notable player (or two) on to fill the financial void. The deal - however small the reported 1.7m figure may initially seem to some for such an exciting prospect – will be loaded with add-on's; of that I'm sure. We may even see him return on loan some time next season once the Anfield giants have had time to assess their new starlet. And what a great opportunity for Shelvey; he will get to train and possibly play alongside his boyhood hero, Steven Gerrard. Opportunities like that don’t come around very often.
Like most, I have been, and will remain a big fan of Shelvey. That said, it was also obvious he has a lot to learn if he’s to push his game on to the anticipated level, although it’s not entirely surprising given that he’s still so young. So now Shelvey will face the dreaded football crossroads, where the pressure to live up to the expectation may lead to the wrong career move or could very well take you down a dingy backwater rather than the glorious road to nirvana. Will he rise to notable success as messrs. Bowyer and Parker have done? Who knows?
I expect the more jingoistic Addicks will see this as a lack of ambition, and although it's never a good sign when one of your better prospects leaves the club, I think the more calculated and fair-minded Addicks will realise this is an essential bit of business in these difficult times, especially as promotion is still far from certain.
Good luck JJ. Look forward to following your career with interest.
Now, Back to Leeds United…!